Confessions # 14349: I’m in love with the snooze button…and it’s ok!

It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon when my eyes first started getting heavy. My belly was full of yummy chicken and sweet tea, and the hefty meal was beginning to make me very….very…sleepy. I had started to become overwhelmingly cold, so I curled up in a blanket with my philosophy textbook in my lap. The page was beginning to blur and I began to long deeply for the squeaky spring mattress I’ve slept on in my top bunk for the last few months. I dropped the pencil; my eyes closed. I began to breathe deeply.

That’s when the questions started. What about your homework!? You have so much to do, you fool! Get up!! What about all your commitments tonight? What will you tell people if you decide not to go because you’re “too tired”?

 

That’s about the time that I decided to go curl up on the couch in the study lounge for a bit. It was time to silence the questions, for I had made up my mind. I needed to rest. I set my alarm for about thirty minutes from then, and drifted in and out of sleep for that time. I don’t really remember worrying too much then. My body had won over my mind. It needed sleep, and it didn’t seem too worried about all my obligations and responsibilities. 

I had a similar thing happen to me this morning at about 8 a.m. That was the first of many times that my alarm sounded this morning. I’ve discovered that when I take a Melatonin before bed, getting out of bed the next day is nearly impossible, especially if I’ve made any plans to get up a little earlier than usual, grab some coffee, and work on homework before class. Such was the situation I found myself in this morning. The 8 o’clock beeping was met with a swift tap on the snooze. This process repeated for nearly an hour. At 9 a.m., I reset the alarm for 9:30, at which time I hit the snooze at least 3 more times. By the time I actually needed to get up to go to class, I had slept nearly 3 hours later than I had planned to.

Originally, I felt like a failure as I sleepily climbed down the wooden boards that I use as my ladder to the floor. I was sore from my aqua exercises class the day before. My eyes were barely open, and my body was in shock at the frigid air outside of my warm blankets. I truly was exhausted. All through my routine this morning, and throughout the day, I never stopped to realize that perhaps my little episode with the snooze button this morning had less to do with laziness and more to do with a need to rest. This was a thought that didn’t enter my mind until I was drifting into my slumber, wrapped in a soft blanket on the couch in the study lounge.

Was it convenient for me to sleep so much today? Certainly not. Was it needed? I think so. I’m still feeling like I could sleep for another few hours, but my extra rest today got me to stop and think about whether or not I’m taking care of my body. Homework is important, friends are important, time alone with God is important, but as my weary eyes told me today, so is rest. 

Does anyone want to celebrate with a nap? Just me….?

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What do you really want?

If you’re like me, perhaps the day to day activities get a little old after awhile. It’s not that you don’t like your life, or even that you’re dreading something. It’s really just a matter of emptiness. Do you feel it? Doesn’t it seem like something is missing? Doesn’t it seem so…meaningless? 

Let me elaborate. Have you ever walked into the wind on a cold day? I did it today…several times actually! It was so cold. It made my eyes water, messed up my hair, and chilled me to the bone. But there was something else that made it just a little bit more unbearable. It was all so meaningless. In the midst of powerful gusts of wind, who am I? What place do I have? Where do I really think I’m going? Sure, I’m walking from class to class or heading to my dorm, but where am I really going?

I like to think that I’m pretty important…that it all means something. The papers I write, the blog I keep, what I’m having for dinner, whether or not I feel pretty, whether or not I got enough sleep the night before. As I’m sure you would agree, all of that is pretty important, right? NOT. But when you’re walking right into the bitter winds, you forget about all these silly things and begin to chew on this thought: What do you want?

For those of you who are thinking, “I would like some chocolate or a trained squirrel!”, I respect you a lot, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Think of it this way. When you lay down at night and you close your eyes, don’t you feel like despite all the good things you did that something is still missing? There’s still something you want. And it transcends all the petty things you can convince yourself of wanting. What you really want is something that matters, something with a purpose, something to fill up that emptiness in your heart. 

As I knelt on the cold, stone floor of the prayer chapel this morning, I asked God to help me want Him more. Guys, He is seriously all that matters. That tug on your heart, the pull to do something more is simply Him trying to embrace you. He does it to me too, and when I just acknowledge that He is there, everything changes. In the palm of His hand, I can hear holy whispers saying, “I want all of you. Don’t you want me too?” On my knees this morning, I had to tell Him that I just can’t even fathom His love.I don’t know how to give myself completely to Him. I don’t even know if I want to lay down all those crowns. I’m afraid of where He’ll send me, who He’ll ask me to become, and in some ways, how He’ll change my life. But I want to want to give myself to Him. When I’m walking into the wind (yes, this is a metaphor for the bitter struggles of life), I want to want Him. I want to be reaching for Him because He is the only thing that matters.

I don’t know where you are today. I don’t know what your day has been like, if you’ve done something great, or if you’ve walked into the wind all day long. All I know is that you’re going to lay down tonight and your heart is going to whisper, “What really matters? What do I really want?” I’m in no place to preach at anyone, but if you feel like something is missing, just tell God that you want to want Him more than anything else. He knows you can’t do it without Him. Be blessed. (and look for squirrels). 

Me.

Hi, all! I’ve been learning a lot these last few days. It was funny today as I was walking back from dinner. I suddenly realized, “I like myself.” Maybe I didn’t really believe that 100%, but it was one of those moments when I felt okay with just being me. I could potentially be learning to like myself a whole lot more. As I reflect back on the last week, there are several things I’m not very proud of. I wasted a lot of time, put minimal effort into my studies, and didn’t sleep nearly enough. HOWEVER, I have been constantly reminded everyday of the Lord’s presence in my life. And I think it’s been teaching me to like “me” a little bit more.

On Wednesday, I got up at 5:40 am, after going to bed at 2:30 am, to go to the Wednesday morning prayer walk. The night before, I spent some time praying over an event with some fellow IWU students. And almost everyday this week, God put someone on my heart to pray for. For a couple days, I’ve marked my arm with a pen so that anytime I see it, I’ll send up a few prayers for whomever I’m praying for that day. Today I fasted all day until dinner to pray for the same event I prayed for on Tuesday night. NOTE: I am not typing this up to make myself look all holy or whatever. I’m just explaining why I felt so close to God this week. I will say that while it has been refreshing and wonderful to be in conversation with God so much, I am utterly exhausted. I’m joyful, but so SO tired. I think about all the work I need to do even tonight, and even that thought is exhausting. Did I mention how tired I am?

But something else that is really wonderful happened today. I’ve been seeing a counselor once a week for nearly all of the semester, and today was my last session! We hadn’t planned on that, but I was just so joyful and at peace today that he finally just asked me, “So, what do you need me for?” I couldn’t answer his question. That’s when I realized that I didn’t need him. I know who I am, I know how to take care of myself, and I am beginning to see my worth. That same thought was nudging at me as I walked back from dinner tonight. I don’t really have a problem with myself anymore. I like me. 

You may be wondering how in the world these two little “stories” go together, but take heart; I’m finally going to explain!! I think that being in conversation with God and lifting people up in prayer has helped me to stop fixating on my insecurities so much. After all, does it really matter that my hair is messy when I’m asking God to encourage my sister in Christ? Is it really significant that I’ve gained weight in light of the fact that a dear friend needs to feel God’s presence in her life? Certainly not. It doesn’t matter. Somehow, prayer, even when it’s not about me, has helped me feel God’s love for me all the more. I mean, He has to love me quite a lot if He’s listening to me pray for a friend over and over again. AND, He’s on the edge of His seat too. He loves it when I talk to Him. What a great thought! 

I’m tempted to apologize that my writing isn’t very clever this evening. I’m quite sure that this isn’t even organized. But I’m not going to apologize because IT’S OK IF IT’S NOT PERFECT. I don’t know. I guess these were just some random thoughts that just needed to come together. I hope everyone is having a splendid evening. 🙂 Well, it’s on to researching now. Let’s do this! 

Here we go again…

Here we go again…

 

Do you ever just…not know how you feel, but you know that something is just off? It’s like you’re in a funk of some sort, and it’s kind of a puzzle as to why you are. Call me crazy, but I’m sitting here looking at the clock wondering why in the world I’m awake at 12:26 when I’m not even doing homework. I think it has something to do with how I’m feeling. It’s like I won’t let myself move until I get things straightened out. However, I’m finding that that process is more difficult when you’re not sure what needs to be straightened out in the first place. This brings me to the point I want to make. I think what I’m dealing with right now could be solved very quickly with a little bit of perspective.

Allow me to expound on that. I’m sitting here unsettled and frustrated supposedly for no reason. But then I’m finally honest with myself and admit that there truly is a reason. It takes more probing to realize what said reason might actually be. But when I eat some more of that humble pie, I realize that the root of any petty reason I could pull out of thin air is selfishness. When I don’t get what I want, I get in a funk. What….that didn’t shock anyone? You know, it didn’t really shock me either. My short experience here in college has shown me thus far that selfishness alters perspective, and this altered perspective covers up the truth.

The truth right now is that I am exceedingly blessed.I may not be able to control every little thing or get everything just the way I like it, but this does not change the truth. There is so much peace in knowing that no matter what happens in a day (my bike being stolen, feeling ignored, feeling ugly, not doing “well enough” in a class, being single, tripping over my own feet, failing at my diet, doing my cricket chirping at the wrong time, falling into the trap of self-pity all over again, not loving the way I should, disobeying the Spirit’s leading, and so much more!), I am still loved with a gigantic love by the King of the Universe, and He is willing to lead me everyday if I only welcome him into my heart. That NEVER changes. This is ALWAYS true. He’s never gonna give up on me. All I can say is “Thank you so much, Jesus.” How’s that for some perspective? Who’s in a funk now?

So, I didn’t quite do the homework I needed to do. I stayed up later than I should have. I felt sorry for myself. I got jealous of other people, and this may be one of those nights where I just let Jesus embrace me while I cry myself to sleep. (Don’t worry, I’m fine! This is actually kind of normal for girls to just cry sometimes.) It’s good to remember that Jesus cares about EVERY detail of my life…even the upsetting parts that I don’t fully understand. His love  doesn’t change because of my circumstances, and neither does the fact that I am His daughter. 🙂

 

And now I will rest in His presence so that I can wake up to pour it all out again tomorrow (by His grace, of course). This puts a whole knew attitude behind “here we go again.”

 

( I would also like to point out that tomorrow/today is Tuesday. Perhaps part of my funk is that it’s Monday…just a thought, though.)

“Caught” in the Middle

Greetings! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve rambled about nonsense on here, so I felt inclined to do so this afternoon. I’ve been procrastinating on homework basically all weekend, but whatever. Maybe that’s part of being caught in the middle. I know, I know. “Caught in the middle” is probably one of those overused phrases that you should never put in a paper. But I’m going to use it anyway, so everyone just needs to stay calm!

I’ve been home this weekend to celebrate/participate/enjoy/procrastinate-away my fall break. It went by WAY too quickly, but not too fast that I didn’t realize that things are very different for me than they were a few months ago. I really am caught in the middle in so many way. Emotionally, I find myself all tangled up. I love my family and I basically love the life I’ve lived, but there is also so much hurt and frustration that I know has left its mark on the place I’ve always called home. I’ve really made IWU my home now. It feels like home. I have a bit of a “family” there. Sometimes I cry there, a lot of times I laugh, and always…ALWAYS I’m learning something there. And it’s always hard. But it’s my home. I don’t have a past at IWU to come back and taunt me and make me feel guilty. But I do have that here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t know if that makes really any sense at all, but the point is that I’m caught in the middle of two homes. One of them I was born into and had little control over, and the other I have made on my home (by God’s grace!). I just find myself looking at the clock. Until about 10 o’clock tonight, I’m caught here between two homes.

It’s not just the two homes that have me all confused; I’m caught in the middle spiritually as well. When I left home, things were not good at all. I think God and I were ok, but I was struggling a lot, and I made some choices that I am not proud of. But at IWU, I feel close to God all the time. It’s not that there’s some magical thing where God only shows up there. I think it has more to do with the fact that I seek Him like it’s nobody’s business when I’m there, because I will not make it without HIm. That’s the illusion of it all. I thought I was making it before, but I still needed Him just as much. Somehow I was able to ignore the struggle and dependency more than I can at school. I don’t know. It just seems like being at home confuses me spiritually as well. It’s not that my family members aren’t close with the Lord, or even that I feel far from God here. It’s really just that home reminds me of a time when I was far from Him. Being here makes me feel caught in the middle of the timeline of my walk with the Lord. Things are so much better now (although I will admit that I mess up everyday! I am not perfect and certainly don’t want it to seem like I’m claiming such a thing).

I also find myself caught in the middle of love. Relax!!! I don’t have a boyfriend! I mean just love in general. In high school, love was something I felt that I was lacking. I didn’t have very many friends. My family loved me, but sometimes people just didn’t know what kind of love I needed. So when I came to college, I was like a sponge, soaking up every bit of acceptance and affection. I needed it so much! I was thirsty for approval and the embrace of friends. I was, without a doubt, completely on the receiving end of love. When I didn’t get what I wanted, oh man…temper tantrum all the way! (ok…it wasn’t that bad). I would just find myself frustrated with people. Why weren’t they loving me the way I wanted to be loved!? Didn’t they realize that world revolves around me?! Last weekend at a retreat, I was deeply convicted about this selfishness. It moved me to tears when I realized that I hadn’t been loving other people. It suddenly clicked in my mind that I am called to be a vessel of love. There are people just like me who need to be loved, and because I’ve been there and understand that desire, it is my responsibility to go find those people and love them to pieces. I know that God is calling me to do it; He prompts me and nudges me all the time. But I’m caught in the middle because I don’t always know if I’m ready to say that my priority has changed from being loved to giving love. They are two very different things. One is very easy and very ideal, and the is uncomfortable and inconvenient. I sit here today feeling very much in the middle of those two extremes.

It’s 4:15 and I would say I’m caught in the middle of two meals. ( if you need help, I’m referring to lunch and dinner). My stomach just doesn’t know if it’s time to start growling, but my mind already has a few options lined up of what to stuff my face with. 🙂 Ok, I’m just kidding. well, not entirely. I really am caught in the middle of meals.

In other words, it’s time for me to wrap this up. lol I just wanted to share that with whoever needed to read that. One last notes that I would like to make is that it’s actually a beautiful thing to be where I am. Perhaps “caught” is not the best word to use. It’s more like I’m resting in the middle. I get to be here and take my time. I don’t have to grow up over night. Maybe you’re caught in the middle of something too. Just relax. Let yourself be there because you are there for a reason. You’re going to grow, you’re going to mature, and you’re probably going to see some squirrels. It’s ok to be “caught” in the middle.

Avoidance

It’s quiet in Martin Hall tonight. Everyone else is in the commons to celebrate Homecoming. My friends asked me to tag along, but I declined. I needed some time to just be with myself. After all, I am an introvert living in a community with several other young ladies. Sometimes alone time is…well….it doesn’t really exist.

But tonight it does. So now I’m here. I don’t really have a specific purpose for writing tonight. Sorry. You’ll have to deal with my thoughts.

I find that much of my time is spent in avoidance. I avoid the things I need to be doing. Yes, I make jokes about it. It’s almost an unspoken rule that you procrastinate to some degree while you’re in college. But really though, it’s time to ask myself what I’m avoiding and why. I think that it goes beyond putting off some reading so that I can watch Youtube videos with friends. It’s more than just getting on Facebook 5,000 times a day to keep from writing a paper. I really think it comes down to fear. I’m afraid.

Let me tell you a story. When I was in high school, I decided that I was going to be Valedictorian of my class. (I’ll save you the disappointment and just tell you now that I was not, in fact, the Valedictorian.) I worked ridiculously hard all the time. I loved the thrill of getting an A+. It made me feel alive and significant, but I found that it also led me to having approximately zero friends. You know why? Because I thought I was better than everyone else. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls, or as athletic as some of my peers because I was “smarter” than they were. In my twisted logic, this also meant that I was “better” than they were. My competitive drive for the highest rank and top score was pretty obvious to others. They knew that all I cared about was myself.

Why did I tell you this story? Well, I think somehow this story relates to where I am now. I’m in college. My classes are harder. I’m not the only “smart” one. What I’m trying to say is that I think I might be feeling a bit threatened. I’m aware that I’m certainly not better than anyone. There is so much room for “failure”, which really just means I won’t be “perfect” all the time (or really at all). It’s like I’m afraid to be stamped with the you-didn’t-quite-measure-up sign. For some reason, I’ve taught myself to believe that messing up means I suddenly lose some of my worth. My resident director told me the other day that growth doesn’t make us a better person. She said that I’m already “great” just as I am. What an encouragement! Even if I start working hard and getting better, I was already “great” to begin with.

So now I’m at a crossroads. I can decide to jump out there, despite the fact that I’ll “fail”, and experience some growth (even though it won’t make me a better person). Or, I can choose to remain stagnant. To avoid everything. To hide from “failure”.

Here goes nothing.

Spilling Over

Aside

It’s late/early and my caffeine will soon be wearing off, so I’ll try to make this quick. It’s been awhile,so I wanted to update all of you on what has been going on.

Before I start, I want to confess one thing that kind of has my heart hurting a little bit tonight. I’m missing someone who was a part of my life and isn’t anymore. I know that it’s normal for relationships to end, but I can’t help wondering if I let this person down. Whatever the case, I’m the one hurting tonight. I wonder how much Jesus identifies with this kind of pain when we walk away from Him. I don’t know, but I do know that He is the Comforter. This has nothing to do with my blog post. lol. I just needed to get it off my heart.

But I want to tell you something that overshadows the pangs of hurt I’m feeling. This weekend was one filled with wonderful people and with  a feeling of confidence in the woman Christ is making me to be. Praise God for that. Last week was a bit discouraging. I spent a lot of time worrying and reliving moments…examining where I messed up, if I even did. But God really showed me that I didn’t mess things up. During my 3 hour cleaning spree today (yes,Mom. I cleaned) I found a card on the floor (one that was handmade) a with a beautiful word of encouragement. It was an anonymous card from a “friend”, as the card said. I have a friend. 🙂 Someone thought about me, and they weren’t the negative thoughts I had been  imagining in my mind and heart. What a blessing.

Some of you who read my blog perhaps know that I’m almost entirely sure that I need to change my major. I’ve been wrestling with it and obviously I haven’t made a final decision yet, but I think I might be feeling a leading of some sort. I feel like God might be calling me to counseling or something similar. I’m not entirely sure, but if you guys would be willing to pray about that, I would appreciate it so much. 🙂

Some of this may seem simple. You might be wondering why I would spend time typing this up so late at night when I have class in the morning. But that’s just it; when you’re spilling over, it doesn’t matter if you’re tired. You can’t control it when you’re spilling over. That’s what is happening tonight. God fills us up so that we can pour ourselves over for others who are hurting and broken. I know how it feels to be broken and discouraged and i KNOW that there are girls who live just down the hall, just up stairs, the ones who sit in class next to me who are trying to cover their cries for help. They want to know if they can be real with people. They want to know if they have value. They need someone to listen. And I’m spilling over onto them. Friends, I hope you allow God to fill you. Lay yourself down and pour yourself out because it feels oh so good.

Take care everyone. As a side note, the backyard of Martin Hall has at LEAST 6 squirrels living out there. 🙂 This brings me great joy (and a wonderful distraction from my homework).